I am a big, big fan of Sharyn McCrumb's ballad novels, which take place in the hills in Upper East TN and southwest Virginia. She Walks These Hills, my introduction to McCrumb novels, is absolutely magical. I love it and so many of the other books, which all have a current mystery set against a historic event. Southern legends, mountain stories, etc. Great books.
But this one. Oh dear. I can truly say that Devil Amongst the Lawyers is dreadful. If this had been my first Sharyn McCrumb book, I would never pick up another one. It's kind of like a handbook on what writers should not do: jump around; include a dozen flat, main characters; use every possible stereotype to describe your characters; make your dialogue stilted; throw in bits of information that you know about topics unrelated to the story; have the story itself be an abysmal mess; and make your reader want to actually rip the book apart.
Here is what I have to say. Please do not read this book. Ever. Instead, please read McCrumb's other fantastic ballad novels: She Walks These Hills, If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, The Rosewood Casket, The Ballad of Frankie Silver, The Songcatcher, and Ghostriders.